DM Streakn Thru Fire finished third.
Prospect To The Top broke sharply from the outside post position and Noconi, who was next to Prospect To The Top, was a slightly slower than Prospect To The Top out to the gate. Noconi was never able to make up the distance over the 440 yards and finished three quarters of a length behind the member of the Ralph Muniz barn.
Prospect To The Top, with Oscar Rincon aboard, covered the quarter mile in 21.275 seconds.
Last year’s champion three-year-old colt, Prospect To The Top is in peak form. He stood his first season at stud this spring and then came back to finish a close second in the Mr Jet Moore Handicap.
“I don’t know what to say. He’s just an exceptional horse,” said Muniz. “I felt bad in the last race. I think I let him down a little bit. He needed a race before and I put him in a stakes race. I should have put him in an allowance to prep the horse.
“I thought I had enough horse to go ahead and win it. He showed today he is for a real, he is a champion. Noconi is a nice horse, taking nothing away from him. He’s awesome.”
Prospect To The Top earned his championship with a win in the $155,000 Hobbs America Derby and a second in the $1.3 million All American Derby.
R.D. Hubbard and Johnny T.L. Jones Jr.’s Noconi, trained by Paul Jones, retires with earnings of $1.3 million and 16 wins from 35 starts. All of his starts, except two outs, came in graded stakes races or their trials. His most important victory came when he defeated champion Heartswideopen in the 2008 All American Derby.
“He’s been unbelievable,” said co-owner R.D. Hubbard. “He’s been a great one. I’m sad to see him go, but it’s time.”
Lisa Saumell, Paul Jones’ assistant in New Mexico, has managed Noconi’s day-to-day training for six years. “It’s a bittersweet moment. The goal is to get him broke enough to lead the post parade next year (for perhaps the All American Futurity or Derby),” she said.
Noconi, a seven-year-old gelded son of Mr Jess Perry, will spend his retirement at co-owner Jones’ Quanah, Texas ranch in a barn constructed for him.